Combative Aston Villa man could be at risk of losing his place in the team – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

After being left out for Aston Villa’s matches against Newcastle United and Manchester United, Marvelous Nakamba was reinstated into the midfield as they faced Chelsea and Leicester City.

However, due to his performances and current circumstances, the 25-year-old could find himself struggling to get back into Dean Smith’s side once again.

Fans were split in their views regarding his showing against Chelsea, following a performance in which he managed to complete 91% of his passes, as well as playing two key passes.

However, he did lose possession seven times during this match and lost seven of the 13 aerial duels that he competed in.

There was very little debate about the Zimbabwe international’s performance against Leicester though, as fans were unanimous in their condemnation of him.

That was with good reason, as he was subbed off just before the hour mark having won just one of his seven duels and failed to make any successful tackles, despite being dribbled past twice and committing two fouls.

When some of his statistics are combined from these showings, it doesn’t exactly indicate that Nakamba will be the first name on the teamsheet.

With these two performances missing the mark when it comes to filling fans with confidence, there is a chance that Smith may have a temptation to take him out of the team.

In addition to that, it can be argued that Nakamba is actually less likely to feature against the league’s smaller teams, as the defensive side of his game comes into greater use when Villa are expecting to have longer periods without the ball.

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His defensive influence is summarised by the fact he averages 2 interceptions, 3.6 tackles and 1.7 clearances per game.

Against Newcastle, Smith dropped Douglas Luiz into the holding role, allowing Conor Hourihane to play, something that resulted in the Republic of Ireland international notching a goal and assist to secure the victory.

The upcoming run of fixtures: Sheffield United, Southampton, Norwich City, Watford and Burnley can be seen as the exact type of games that would suit the inclusion of Hourihane.

Therefore, when that is considered alongside Nakamba’s form, the 25-year-old could find himself on a run of games where he is forced to watch the action from the bench.

In other news, Aston Villa fans have been reacting to a report that they are showing interest in a World Cup winner.

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